And I thought networking was less tiring than work!

Things have been busy over the last few weeks, so I can only apologise for the lack of updates. Things are finally starting to move pretty quickly with the Free to Live group as they are now starting to actively seek funding, part of a move towards being fully and financially independent from the Leeds CIL.

A little over three weeks ago the group was set up with a community bank account with HSBC (a good tip if you are involved with any similar group organisations, they offer free banking if your group has turnover less that £100k) so that they can start to apply for volunteer grant funding and formalise key partnership contracts with local institutions.

The first is in the bag already and the group will once again be working with Mick Grant and his student social worker undergraduates at Bradford College over the next year. We have already completed the first presentation on this month, which seemed to go down very well with the group (particularly judging by the number of presentation downloads on here!).

Since then I’ve been working on developing a number of other similar working relationships opportunities. Leeds University are interested in exploring this idea further, especially with their social care policy research department. Having a network of people on hand to share their experiences and expertise in this field could be of huge benefit to everyone involved, so I can’t wait to see the results of that working relationship if and when established.

Further meetings this week with Skills For Care and Social Business Brokers have shown that there is a huge networking opportunity at the moment, and one that I’m very keen to develop as much as possible. One thing that everyone seems to agree on is that personalisation in healthcare is definitely the right way to go forward, but that there has to be a proper planning and support in place for it to work successfully. Anyone involved cannot simply claim to know everything or how to magically fix the system. However, by having a network of like-minded people and organisations working together the chances are pretty good that, when needed, they probably will be aware of somewhere that they can point someone in the right direction when they do need information, help or support.

If I can just play a small but successful part in that, that will be more than enough for me!


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